Kearney penalty gives Balcatta narrow win
Report by Navrin Secker
Photo via Facebook/Balcatta FC
Balcatta secured a 1-0 victory over local rivals Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon thanks to John Kearney’s second-half penalty.
In a match where both sides struggled to take their chances, Balcatta came out firing but the Stirling defence weathered the storm and ensured the score remained 0-0 going into the break.
The visitors continued to push forward in the second term but were frustrated by the solid Lions rearguard.
Balcatta’s hard work finally paid of when Darren O’Riordan gave away a penalty in the 58th minute, which Kearney tucked away past a diving Ryan Montgomery.
Despite looking second best for most of the match, Stirling were thrown a lifeline when Alex Wild received his marching orders for a poor challenge on Dean Cummings in the 74th minute.
Stirling’s direct style of play was dealt with well by Lewis Italiano, the former Newcastle Jets goalkeeper acting as a sweeper against another of his former clubs.
Despite only having 10 men, Balcatta continued to look dangerous in attack but Montgomery ensured that the match ended 1-0.
Balcatta turn their attention to the FFA Cup on Monday when they host Floreat Athena, while next Saturday Stirling will continue their fight to get off the bottom of the NPL WA table away at Armadale.
Star player: Lewis Italiano (Balcatta)
Stirling Lions 0
Balcatta 1 (Kearney 59min)
Saturday, June 1
Referee: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referees: Alexander Best, Lawson Rimmer
Stirling Lions: 1. Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2. Mile PETKOVSKI (13. Michael GAMA 9), 3. Darren O’RIORDAN (8. Dean CUMMINGS 67), 5. Steven MCDONALD, 6. Dhhors CHOL, 7. Nelson TSHONGO, 9. Zdenek BEZDEK, 10. Danny JONES, 11. Michael WANTEE, 12. Renee KISESA (14. Bleron MAMUDI 70), 18. Gino HAMPSHIRE
Unused substitutes: 15. Griffin BECSI, 20. Daniel MARQUET
Yellow cards: O’Riordan 58, McDonald 58
Red cards: Nil
Balcatta: 1. Lewis ITALIANO 2. Joseph MARINO, 3. John KEARNEY, 4. Calum O’CONNELL, 5. Shubham MOKALA (19. Gavin KNIGHT 66), 7. Ben PELLIZZARI (8. Alex WILD 30), 10. Jonathan CORNESS, 12. Roberto DEL BORRELLO, 13. Carmelo GIUFFRE (11. Nicholas CHALLOT 85), 20. Anthony TOPINI, 23. Adam ZIMARINO
Unused substitutes: 16. Alex CASTIELLO, 25. David KEENAN
Yellow cards: Kearney 39, Topini 62, Giuffre 80
Red card: Wild 74